← Part of Michinoku Coastal Trail (みちのく潮風トレイル) NOBO thru-hike



12.07 mi

Elevation gain

1,824 ft

Technical difficulty


Elevation loss

1,801 ft

Max elevation

939 ft



Min elevation

10 ft

Trail type

One Way
  • Photo of Michinoku Coastal Trail (みちのく潮風トレイル) NOBO : Day 3
  • Photo of Michinoku Coastal Trail (みちのく潮風トレイル) NOBO : Day 3
  • Photo of Michinoku Coastal Trail (みちのく潮風トレイル) NOBO : Day 3
  • Photo of Michinoku Coastal Trail (みちのく潮風トレイル) NOBO : Day 3
  • Photo of Michinoku Coastal Trail (みちのく潮風トレイル) NOBO : Day 3
  • Photo of Michinoku Coastal Trail (みちのく潮風トレイル) NOBO : Day 3


6 hours 34 minutes




September 10, 2022


March 2021

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939 ft
10 ft
12.07 mi

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near Yamashita, Miyagi (Japan)

Day 3 of MCT (Michinoku Coastal Trail): Watari horst mountains traverse 亘理地塁山地縦走

We checked out Hotel Grado ホテルグラード新地, conveniently located right in front of Shinichi station, at 8:15 am to safely make it to the 8:30 train.
Out two nights stay at the hotel was pretty comfortable and satisfying. Besides the services guests expect from standard business hotels anywhere in Japan, such as a free microwave and coin laundry, the best thing for us was a spacious public bath. It was a separate building connecting to the hotel with an indoor passage for hotel guests, while visitors only for the taking bath enter from another entrance. A casual self-service style restaurant was also inside the public baths, so we had our first night’s dinner there. All dishes we ordered were unexpectedly so good for their price.

The first few days of the MCT northbound route have good connections to the stations on the JR Joban line常磐線. Trains run more frequently than we thought. That gave us an excellent alternative option during our hike-planning stage; staying at a lodge multiple nights and using trains to and from each day’s start and goal. An advantage of this way is that we don’t have to carry the full gear every day.

We always try to minimize the extra travel by public transportation between lodges and the MCT route. Of course, simply having different lodges on the route every night is the best, and we can focus only on going forward. But after looking up various map tools, we found accommodations did not always exist at convenient locations for our average daily distance along the MCT route. That is, unfortunately, a very common challenge at almost all long-distance trails in Japan. The Shikoku Pilgrimage and Kumano Kodo routes are exceptions, but their accommodation situations have been not so lucky these days…

Two train stations from Shinichi, we were back at Yamashita station. There was a large grocery store and a few other shops in front of the station, but none was open on such an early morning. So, we quickly returned to the town office of Yamamoto 山元町 to get back on the MCT route.

Since we knew we would be in the shopless mountains most of today, we researched where we could get food and drinks.
The station-front grocery store opens only at 9:30 am. Google Maps didn’t find any stores along the MCT route between the station and the trailhead of mountains. So, we got some bread (lighter-weight food) last evening when we bought our dinner at a convenience store. There were many vending machines around Yamashita station. I got a bottle of tea just in case we could not find any other vending machines on the way to the mountain trailhead....

To read more on Day 3, https://mountain-penguin.com/2021/07/16/mct-day3/
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